Friday, June 09, 2023  |


Gabriel Maestre halts faded Devon Alexander on Fundora-Mendoza undercard

Gabriel Maestre and Devon Alexander. Photo by Esther Lin/SHOWTIME
Fighters Network

CARSON, Calif. – Gabriel Maestre won by knockout Saturday night after former world welterweight titleholder Devon Alexander remained on his stool after the third round at Dignity Health Sports Park.

Maestre, who resides in Barcelona, Venezuela, goes to 5-0-1, 4 knockouts on the Sebastian Fundora-Brian Mendoza undercard.

Fighting for the first time as a junior middleweight, the 36-year-old Maestre, a two-time Olympian, mixed his attack well as Alexander looked to counter with right hooks to the body. Late in the second round, a left hook to the head dropped Alexander to the canvas. Alexander was not visibly hurt, punching the canvas in frustration as he stood up to beat the count.

Maestre increased his punch volume, connecting more to the head of Alexander. After the end of the third round, a ringside physician went to the corner of Alexander, who was complaining of pains to his chest. After consulting with the physician, referee Gerard White stopped the bout.

Saturday marked Maestre’s first fight in almost 13 months, which was a split-decision draw against Taras Shelestyuk, another unbeaten welterweight.

Maestre is best known for his bout against Mykal Fox in August 2021. Maestre was announced the winner in a fight that several media members and boxing insiders thought Fox won convincingly. The WBA, which had an interim world title on the line, stated it would begin consolidating its title belts in each division after the backlash it received from fans.

Alexander, who resides in St. Louis, Missouri, falls to 27-8-1, 14 KOs. Alexander, who won world title belts at 140 and 147 pounds, has lost his last four bouts since a majority decision draw against Victor Ortiz in February 2018. Alexander has lost six of his last eight bouts.

In a clash of lightweights, Adrian Corona and Jerry Perez fought to an action-filled majority decision draw. One judge scored the bout 78-74 for Perez, while the other two judges scored the bout 76-76.

The 23-year-old Corona was the more-effective fighter during the first half of the fight. As the bout progressed, Perez’s punches landed with more frequency. Early in the eighth round, a left hook to the body hurt Corona. Perez pressed the action, landing a series of punches onto Corona, who looked more tired than hurt. Both fighters went at it during the final moments up until the bell sounded.

Corona (9-1-2, 2 KOs), who resides in nearby Rialto, is the son of California referee/ judge Ray Corona. He last fought on August 20, losing by unanimous decision to unbeaten Pedro Valencia.

Perez, who resides in Oak Hills, California, goes to 14-2-1, 11 KOs.

In the opening bout of the Showtime Countdown that streamed live on the Showtime Boxing YouTube page, heavyweight contender Frank Sanchez of Miami, Florida, dropped Daniel Martz three times en route to a first round knockout victory.

Sanchez, who is ranked No. 10 by The Ring and is trained by Eddy Reynoso, dropped Martz with a right to the body moments into the first round. Martz beat the count, but was dropped again to the canvas by another right to the body.

The Cuba-born Sanchez ended matters later in the round after landing a vicious right cross that dropped Martz to the canvas. Referee Gerard White immediately stopped the bout at 1:41.

Martz, who resides in Clarksburg, West Virginia, falls to 20-11-1, 17 KOs.

Preliminary action

Former heavyweight title challenger Chris Arreola knocked out Mathew McKinney of Oceanside, California in the second round.

After a feeling-out opening round, Arreola dropped McKinney with an overhand right to the head. McKinney (13-7-3, 9 KOs) was counted out by referee Thomas Taylor at 1:01.

Arreola, who resides in nearby Riverside, improves to 39-7-1, 34 KOs.

Flyweight Gabriela Fundora remained unbeaten, dropping former world title challenger Maria Santizo (11-3, 6 KOs) of Guatemala en route to a unanimous decision victory. Scores were 79-72, 79-72, and 77-74 for Fundora, who improved to 11-0, 2 KOs.

The southpaw Fundora was the more-polished fighter, raining punches down on the game Santizo. Fundora dropped Santizo with a right hook in round 6, but Santizo was able to beat the count and fight on.

In junior lightweight action, Justin Viloria was successful in his pro debut, knocking out Sirdarious Smith (0-2) of Bentonville, Arkansas at 1:12 of the opening round.

In the opening bout of the Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) card, junior lightweight Viktor Slavinkiy, who is originally from Mykolaiv, Ukraine and now resides in Los Angeles, defeated gatekeeper Juan Antonio Lopez by majority decision.

One judge scored the bout 76-76, which was the more-accurate score, while the other two judges scored the bout 78-74 and 77-75 for Slavinskiy, who goes to 14-2-1, 6 KOs.

Lopez, who resides in Dallas, drops to 17-14-1, 7 KOs.


Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached at [email protected]